Unemployment was one of the most disheartening experiences of my life. I officially entered the workforce at 14. And prior to that, I had a steady babysitting gig thanks to my older sister, who paid me handsomely to look after my baby niece while she attended night school. So when I found myself filing for unemployment just a few months after graduation, my world was completely shattered. My job search experience was an emotional rollercoaster and there were several instances where I literally broke into hysterics when I learned that a potential employer decided to go with another candidate. It was horrible—and I had the support of my parents, so I couldn’t imagine being on my own while experiencing this. As the let-downs began to pile up, I frequently found myself wondering why I even bothered setting myself up by going on interviews only to be disappointed in the end. There were plenty of days I wanted to give up, but my crippling fear of having to depend on my parents for the rest of my life or ending up homeless someday would always jerk me back to reality, and I’d go back to hitting the pavement.
According to MSN, a new poll released by Harris in conjunction with Express Employment Professionals revealed that more than half of Americans who have been out of work for two years or more have given up on their job search entirely –59 percent of them, to be exact. The study also revealed that overall, 43 percent of unemployed Americans, regardless of how long they’ve been jobless, have stopped seeking out employment opportunities as well.
“This is a tale of two economies,” Express CEO Bob Funk said in a statement. “It’s frightening to see this many people who could work say they have given up.”
The survey revealed that on average, the unemployed who have not completely abandoned their search only spend 11.7 hours per week looking for work and 51 percent of them say that they haven’t had a job interview since 2014. And sadly, 18 to 29-year-olds make up one-third of the unemployed population.
The silver lining, however, is that 22 percent of unemployed Americans chose to leave their jobs, which is a 7 percent increase from the 15 percent that was reported in 2014.